Chapter Twenty Five - Aftershock
"Can I ... talk to you?"
The brunette looked up from her vegetables. Axel turned to the blonde man sitting at the table. "Alone?" Tidus got the drift, taking his cup of coffee out into the living room.
"What's the matter?"
"Well ... you see ... tomorrow is my birthday. And so ... I was wondering ... Do you think that it would be alright ... May I have ... May I have your permission to have sex with your son?" Axel's words were rushed and his body shook and his brow was beading with nervous sweat. The woman stared at him for a long moment, the knife that she was using still sitting in her fingers. Axel eyed that knife, equally nervous that the one that had been like a mother to him all these months would just stab him in the chest right there.
That was not the answer that Axel had been expecting. His mouth opened and closed like a fish. He took a moment to compose himself, taking in a deep breath before plunging in, clenching his hands, staring at the ground.
"I ... was hoping tonight. Well, since it's prom and all. But, tomorrow's my birthday and I can't stay so I want to show him just how much I love him and ..."
"Axel, it's okay. I'm just happy that you asked for my permission and haven't gone behind my back."
"You thought that I would?"
"No. I trusted you. I still trust you. You're almost eighteen. I think that you can decide what's right for yourself. But only if Roxas is willing, right?"
Axel nodded, relief washing over him. "I-I think ... he wants it as badly as I do, if not more."
Yuna had turned to him, setting the knife down on the counter. Axel's gaze flitted over hers for a moment before falling to the floor.
"I ... Well, I'm moving out tomorrow."
"Tomorrow? Isn't that a little sudden? Will you have a place to stay?"
"I wanted to tell you sooner. I just didn't know how. Re offered to let me stay there for now. We've been talking it over for a week now."
Yuna hung her head, a pout etched on her lips. "It'll be quiet here without you."
Axel looked up, a reassuring smile gracing his lips. "You have Tidus now. He's a great guy and I'm sure that he'll be enough to fill my shoes. Besides, you couldn't really have thought this would be permanent, did you? I mean ... I'm so much older than Rox ... I never woulda been able to stay."
"We'll still miss you."
"I'll be back. I promise."
"Have you told him yet?"
The redhead stiffened. "N-No. Not yet. I will though. I think I'll have to tell him tonight. He has to know already, though. He just has to know what's coming, right?"
"Just try not to hurt him too bad."
"Hey, Rox? Rox, c'mon, pick up? I know you're there. You've gotta be. Well, even if you're not, you'll still get this, right? Call me, please? I miss you. We could still be friends, couldn't we?"
"Rox? Man, it's been a week. You can't keep ignoring me like this! I'm doing my part. I'm trying to keep in touch. Dem and Xig are back together. They made it. And, if they can, we can too, right? I mean, we'll make it. Just pretend that I'm only off at college. Or that all those months never happened. Let's be friends though, Rox. Please? I miss you so much."
"This is starting to bug me, you know. If I could just hear your voice again, everything would be perfect. Why won't you call me back? If it was because of the argument, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to say half the things that I did. I didn't mean to hurt you. You're a good kid. Don't just leave me. Heh, like I have the right to say that…"
"I don't know how much longer I can go on like this, Rox. I feel like I've messed up. I've messed up bad. Just call? Please. I need you."
"Rox ... Rox ... No, nevermind. This is crazy."
"I ... I didn't mean to hurt you, Rox. I still think about you everyday, you know. I haven't been with anyone. For over a month, all I've been able to think about is you. Leon tried to cheer me up, but I refused. So, Rox, please. I just want to hear your voice."
"God damn it, Roxas! It's been a friggin' month! Yuna? Tidus? Anyone? You guys told me to stay in touch! I'm staying in touch, but none of you will return my calls!"
"What happened to being my friend, huh? You were the best friggin' thing that ever happened to me and I'm stuck yelling at your answering machine because you won't pick up. How the hell am I supposed to know you haven't died? Or is that it? Am I yelling to an empty house right now? Have you packed up all your shit and moved outta town?"
"I saw you that day holding my chakram, you know. I still have your key. I keep it on at all times. Because I know that if I lost it, I would never have a chance to tell you for real how sorry I am."
"Okay, ya know what? I give up. I give up on you. If you wanna be a spoiled little prick that won't call me back, then I dunno what to do."
"I'm starting up one of the college courses pretty soon. It sounds really exciting. Anything to keep my mind off you."
"Roxas, it hurts still. I need to know that you're still around. Please? Call me. I'm begging you."
"Ya know what, fuck you. I'm hurting too, damn it! I've lost twenty pounds and Cloud even said that the way I am now reminds him of how I used to be when Dad hurt me. I never knew you could hurt me like that too."
"I listened to those CDs the other day. Man, was that ever a slap in the face."
"I'm going to stop spamming your answering machine now, since it is painfully obvious that you never check it. What if it was someone calling to say that I died? What would you do then? Probably laugh. Would you laugh about something like that Roxas?"
Axel gave up. After over two and a half months, the determined redhead gave up on the blonde. But, there was one last thing he could do.
"Oh. It's you." There was a small pause. "What do you want?"
"Where's Roxas been?"
"So, he's ... he's okay?"
"I wouldn't say okay."
"What would you say then?"
"Pissed. Kinda broken. Hey, ouch, don't kick me, you bastard." Axel heard a muffled groan of pain from Hayner and a mumbled voice in the background that sounded vaguely familiar, distorted as it was.
"Why do you think, you asshole?"
"Uh, well, he shoulda known I was gonna leave. Does he know I've been calling him?"
Hayner snorted a laugh. "Oh, I'd say he knows. Hey! Be nice!" Again, that vaguely familiar voice.
"Stop ... me..." Axel only gathered fragments of what the mystery person said.
"Why doesn't he return my calls?"
"Ask him yourself." The phone was passed over and Axel felt like he was going to explode. He gripped the phone to his ear like it was giving him life. How could he not recognize that voice?
"Ask me what?" It was Roxas. Axel's heart pounded in his chest and he almost felt like he was going to be sick. But he couldn't run to the bathroom. He had to stay right there. He had to talk to his Rox-as.
"Why didn't you return my calls, Rox?"
"Because I'm done with you. You pranced out of my life and that's where I want you to stay. So stop calling me. It's not gonna work. I hate you, Axel."
"N-No! You can't! You said you loved me! You said it, Rox! You can't just unsay it!"
"Stop with the 'Rox' shit! I'm not 'Rox' anymore."
"Rox ... as. Roxas, I'm not just going to give up on you."
"If you don't stop calling my house, I'll call the cops and file a harassment claim. I don't want you around anymore, Axel."
Axel could feel himself breaking. It wasn't supposed to end like this! How could it end? They were in love! Axel had risked his life so many times to save that of the blonde! Roxas wasn't supposed to just not let him call anymore! That's all he really had left!
"R-Roxas." The redhead forced out through the lump in his throat. "Roxas, I need you! You can't just throw me away!"
"You threw yourself away, asshole."
The name stung at the redhead. He felt himself shaking, tears leaking down his cheeks. A fit was coming, he could tell. He just needed Roxas. That's all he wanted. "We promised, Rox! We promised to wait for each other!"
"No, Axel, you promised. You said you wouldn't whore around. I didn't say a god damned thing. I'm over you. I'm with Zexion now."
Axel's heart clenched and his mind froze, echoing that dreaded teen's name. Zexion. He had lost the love of his life to a bastard who definitely did not deserve such a god. "Zexion," the redhead repeated weakly, his voice lined with disbelief.
"Yeah, you know, my 'crazy, rapist' ex? He's not my ex anymore. I went to him when you left. That's why I haven't answered your calls - I've been busy getting my lights fucked out. So I don't need you anymore, asshole."
Panic filled the redhead. He knew then, without a doubt, that his Roxas was his Roxas no longer. Axel finally realized that he had hurt Roxas more than he had planned. He knew that there was no way to charm the blonde into being his once more.
Axel held the phone, clenched in his fingers, as he slid down to the floor, a sob gathering in his throat. He had to force his words out around the lump that was cutting off all oxygen.
"R-Roxas... Roxas, I love you!"
Axel hung up.
Is that really the end of Axel and Roxas' relationship? You'll just have to wait until the sequal, won't you? See you all then. :D Thank you all so much for all the support and making this my most reviewed story thus far. I can't believe something of mine finally hit over one hundred reviews, let alone two hundred! I love you all so much!
The Band Name contest is going to officially start in one week, September 8th, 2010. It will go until October 1st, 2010. That doesn't mean that Growth, Rookie's sequal will be out by then, but that's just when the polls will close. I hope to see lots of votes on there and remember, the winning name gets a promptfic written for them! I hope you enjoyed Rookie and aren't going to come after me with pitchforks. I love you all, again. :D